Cooking techniques have certainly progressed throughout the years, but nothing can beat the all-natural goodness of some hardwood charcoal; this is the way nature intended us to cook!
They produce much less ash than briquettes do, they give your food a wonderful smoky flavor, and they burn hotter than briquettes do.
True, these little chunks of burned wood may cost more than briquettes, but if the latter just doesn’t cut it for you anymore, read on to see which brands make the best lump charcoal for all of your grilling needs.
Top 10 Lump Charcoals Comparison Table
|Picture||Name||Bag Weight||Price||Rating (1-5)|
|Picture||Name||Bag Weight||Price||Rating (1-5)|
|1. Fogo FHWC35LB 35-Pound All Natural Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal Bag||35 pounds||$$$$||4.4|
|2. GRILL DOME CCL-20 Choice Lump Charcoal||20 pounds||$$||4.4|
|3. Jealous Devil Quebrancho Blanco Hardwood Lump Charcoal||35 pounds||$$$||4.2|
|4. Mangrove Hardwood Lumps BBQ Charcoal (20 lbs)||20 pounds||$$$||4.2|
|5. BIG CP 20-pound bag of natural lump charcoal||20 pounds||$$$$||4.1|
|6. Original Natural Charcoal 17.6 Pound Premium Lump Charcoal Bag||17.6 pounds||$$||4.1|
|7. Royal Oak 195228021 Lump Charcoal, 15.4 lb||15.44 pounds||$||4.0|
|8. Primo 608 Natural Lump Charcoal, 20-Pound bag||20 pounds||$$$||3.7|
|9. Kebroak KHWC40LB 40-Pound Hardwood Lump Charcoal Bag||40 pounds||$$$$||3.5|
|10. Kamado Joe, KJ-CHAR, Lump Charcoal||20 pounds||$$$||3.4|
Tips to Help You Choose Great Lump Charcoal
Most guides we’ve come across highlight the briquette/charcoal debate. Which is better?
In our guide, however, we felt it was more important to teach you what to look for when you are comparing products so that you understand how to find the best lump charcoal for your cooking needs.
- How Was the Wood Harvested? While it is great to use real hardwood charcoal for cooking, make sure you check to see how it was harvested.
It is better to support brands that obtain their material from sustainably managed forests simply because this is better for the environment.
- Lump Size. Ideally, you want large chunks of charcoal since you can always break them into smaller chunks as needed.
Some brands are better about giving you a mixture of large, softball-sized chunks while others tend to give you a higher quantity of smaller chunks.
Check to see what the consensus among consumers is before you purchase so you know what to expect when you open the bag.
- Does It Tend to Spark and Pop? When you light a fire with raw wood in your fireplace, you will hear a lot of popping and see a lot of sparks fly as it burns.
With lump charcoal, you don’t want that.
It should burn slowly and steadily, so apart from the initial lighting of the product, any noises or sparks you see should fade away quickly. If they don’t, then this is a sign of lower quality charcoal.
Avoid the Lighter Fluid
One of the main reasons to opt for lump charcoal is that it is natural, so using lighter fluid defeats the purpose since it is a chemical!
All it takes is a chimney starter, a bit of newspaper and a flame and you’re on your way to some red hot lump charcoal.
Top 3 Best Lump Charcoal Reviews
Fogo provides their customers with large, hefty pieces of hardwood lump charcoal that you can use in any Kamado or regular grill. We absolutely love this brand and think that you will, too!
The blend of hardwoods they use – which is mainly Encino – is easy to light and burns HOT. In the beginning, it might smoke a lot, so make sure you wait to add your food (unless you’re aiming for a super smoky flavor!)
Sparking seems to be a small issue with charcoal, but it really varies from batch to batch because we noticed that some people didn’t even experience any sparking or popping.
While it may be a bit more expensive than products we tried, it is one of the best lump charcoal brands on our list.
Another brand we tried and had great success with is the Grill Dome Lump Charcoal. Many of you may know about their top-notch ceramic Kamado grill already (if not, be sure to check it out), and since we tried the grill, we figured we would give their charcoal a try, too.
They may not be as popular as Fogo’s lumps, but they burn just as well, and the chunks are generous in size. We tried to find out more about the wood used but couldn’t find any specific info. We do know that the lumps are all-natural and DO NOT contain any VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds).
Whether you have a Kamado grill or a regular grill, feel free to use this lump charcoal to cook your food naturally.
One of the main reasons we wanted to try the Jealous Devil Lump Charcoal is because they harvest their wood from sustainably managed forests in Paraguay. They also help create local jobs in said country, and while we can’t physically verify their claims that they pay their workers well and provide safe working environments, that’s what they say in their bio.
We noticed that the pieces were a bit smaller than the Fogo and Grill Dome chunks, but once they get going, they burn just as hot and just as clean as those two. The wood they use is from the Quebracho Blanco tree, which is native to Paraguay. It offers a wonderful flavor to any food that you cook.
You only have to wait 15 minutes from the time you light it until you put your food on, which is standard for most lump charcoals out there.
It is a hair more affordable than the Fogo lumps, so if this is your first time using lump charcoal and you want a quality product, we suggest these. There is a learning curve, so don’t throw in the towel if they don’t give you the expected results on the first time! Be patient, and they’ll reward you with amazing heat.